In a strongly worded letter to WhatsApp chief executive officer (CEO) Will Cathcart, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said India is home to the largest user base of WhatsApp globally and is one the biggest markets for its services.
Stating that Indians should be properly respected, it said, “any unilateral changes to the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy would not be fair and acceptable.”
WhatsApp said in a statement it was working to address misinformation and remains available to answer any questions. “We wish to reinforce that this update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” it said.
California-based Facebook invested $5.7 billion last year in the digital unit of Indian conglomerate Reliance with a huge part of that aimed at drawing in tens of millions of traditional shop owners to use digital payments via WhatsApp.
With 400 million users in India, WhatsApp has big plans for the country’s growing digital payments space, including selling health insurance via partners. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)